Stephen (Steve) Kent, Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly was the Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Governors for Scouts Canada, an organization he has been part of since 1986.
Kent was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador on May 7, 1978, he has lived in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador since 1980. He is married to Janet (Browne) Kent, a teacher and President of FOCUS Driver Training. They live in Mount Pearl with their young sons, Benjamin and Ciaran.
Kent has served as Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the City of Mount Pearl and he has worked as Chief Executive Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada|Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland, as Executive Director at United Way of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, and as the Manager of Corporate Development at Stirling Communications.
Steve Kent is the first Scouts Canada member from Newfoundland and Labrador and the youngest Chair of the Board and Chief Commissioner in Canada's history. Being the youngest is something Steve's used to. At the age of 16, he was the youngest person ever to vote on Scouts Canada's National Council and the very first Chair of the Youth Committee. He was also the youngest mayor in the history of the City of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Kent graduated from O'Donel High School in Mount Pearl in 1996, where he had held the position of Student Council President. In 2001, he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Certificate in Public Administration, at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In May 2003, he received his Master's Degree in Management from McGill University in Montreal. He earned his degrees while working both as Mayor of the City of Mount Pearl and as the Chief Executive Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland.
From April 1999 to September 2004, Kent held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland and the organization saw 1000% growth under his leadership. As part of his commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters, he served as President of the organization's Atlantic Staff Association, and in 2003 was appointed to the Organizational Development Committee.
In 2004, Kent decided to branch out from service agencies and took a position as Manager of Corporate Development, as of August 2005 Acting Station Manager of OZ FM, the top FM station in Newfoundland and Labrador.
He returned to his community service roots and began working as the Executive Director at United Way, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Early in 2006, he launched The FOCUS Group Consulting to provide management and marketing services to private and volunteer sector organizations.
At present, he and his wife Janet own Focus Driver Training, which operates four Young Drivers of Canada offices in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Awards and achievements
In the course of his extensive community service, both volunteer and professional, Kent has been recognized with a variety of awards.
- In 2003, he was awarded both the Memorial University of Newfoundland Alumni Association's Alumni Horizon Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, an honour awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole.
- In 2000, he received the Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce Best in Business Government Award.
- In 1999, he was named one of Maclean's Magazine's Top 100 Canadians to Watch in the Next Century.
- In 1996, he received a YTV Achievement Award for Public Service.
- From 1992-1996, he was named the Mount Pearl Male Youth of the Year, and during that time he also received the Youth Volunteer of the Year award twice.
Since he was very young, Kent has been heavily involved in his community, volunteering his time and energy to improve various aspects of his schools, his city and his province. Some of his more extensive volunteer positions are listed below.
- Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Governors for Scouts Canada, which is a volunteer position
- Founder and Leader of the 1st Royal Newfoundland Constabulary-Mount Pearl Scouting Group
- Member of the Rotary Club of Waterford Valley
- Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland
- Former Assistant Provincial Commissioner for Scouts in Newfoundland and Labrador
- Founding Chair of National Youth Committee for Scouts Canada
- Member of National Volunteer Services Committee
- Vice-Chair of the 2000 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games
- Founding Chair of the Mount Pearl Anti-Vandalism Campaign
- Past President of the Mount Pearl Youth Advisory Council
The original appointment to the position as Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Governors for Scouts Canada made in November 2008 was a Viceroy appointment by Her Excellency, Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. He was appointed again in November 2009 by her Excellency and appointed again in 2010 by His Excellency, David Johnston, Governal General of Canada.